Gas costs Holt plenty at Speedway
WHITE CITY ' Travis Holt was seemingly just one lap away from winning the dwarf car main event at the Southern Oregon Speedway on Saturday night when he ran out of fuel along the home straightaway.
In one of the more bizarre finishes in the seven-year history of the track, Eagle Point's Fred Hay went from seventh place to first on the final lap to take the checkered flag.
The race had been under a yellow caution flag when it was re-started for the final lap. Just as the green flag came out for the re-start, Holt's car stalled in front of the flagstand.
Many of the other drivers slowed coming around the final corner as they spotted the idle Holt, but Hay kept his pedal to the metal.
— I didn't know it was the end of the race until I came around that last corner, said Hay, who bought his 1934 Ford Coupe replica at the end of last season and is technically a rookie in the dwarf class. There was a lot of confusion with the 31 car (Holt) stalled there on the track, but I figured I'd better just go for it and then ask questions later.
Hay started in the 12th position and had worked his way to seventh when the last-minute chaos began.
Rick Seaveiro finished in second place, and Barry Dresen took third.
Points leader Gary Fitzsimmons led the 20-lap race from the fifth through the 14th lap before spinning out. He wound up 10th.
In other divisions, defending points champions Jon DeBenedetti and Frank Word III won the modified and pro stock divisions, respectively, while Dan Menne claimed top honors in the sprint class.
Bryan Barnes won the Super 4 class.
Holt, a 21-year-old Central Point resident who is on leave from the Coast Guard, was in a dwarf car for the first time Saturday. But he's hardly new to racing after stints in mini stock, super truck and modified cars.
It's a fast little car, but I was able to get used to how it handled during the heat races, said Holt, who started dead last in the main event. It hooked up pretty good.
Holt used the high side of the one-third mile clay oval to pass one car after another, finally grabbing the lead from Portland's Dan Van Acker on the backstretch of the 14th lap.
He held it until his car ran out of fuel.
I filled the tank to the top when we started, but we had a lot of yellow flags, and I really ran the car hard trying to get to the front, Holt said. It's disappointing to come that close and not win, but it's also encouraging.
Holt will race three more weeks until heading to Honolulu, where he'll be stationed beginning July 8.
Chet Mitchell gave the fans a thrill early in the evening when he hit the retaining wall and flipped his pro stock car in front of the main grandstand during a heat race. Mitchell was not injured.
S.O. Speedway Results
FIRST HEAT '
1, Ed Starner; 2, Mike Jackson; 3, Rick Sequeira; 4, Dan Fairchild.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, Gary Fitzsimmons; 2, Jerry Apland; 3, Jeff Van Cleave; 4, Jim Miller.
THIRD HEAT ' 1, Bob Painter; 2, Kyle Resnik; 3, Tom Palazzolo; 4, Barry Dresen.
FOURTH HEAT ' 1, Dan Van Acker; 2, Jeff Saxson; 3, Herman Pulyer; 4, Fred O'Nan.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Gary Fitzsimmons; 2, Ed Starner; 3, Bob Painter; 4, Dan Van Acker.
MAIN EVENT ' 1, Fred Hay; 2, Rick Sequeira; 3, Barry Dresen; 4, Dan Van Acker; 5, Kyle Resnick; 6, Crash Johnson; 7, Tom Palazzolo; 8, Herman Pulyer; 9, Dan Fairchild; 10, Gary Fitzsimmons.
11, Jim Miller; 12, Fred O'Nan; 13, Travis Holt; 14, James Gerlach; 15, Joey Silva; 16, Jeff Van Cleave; 17, Mitch Sheeler; 18, Jeff Saxson; 19, Jerry Apland; 20, Bob Painter.
FIRST HEAT '
1, Terry Hadley; 2, Kevin Gudzan; 3, Greg Arnold; 4, Dan King.
SECOND HEAT ' 1,Bryan Barnes; 2, Mark Pemberton; 3, Patrick Lanigan; 4, Brian Merriman.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Terry Hadley; 2, Bryan Barnes; 3, Mark Pemberton; 4, Kevin Gudzan.
MAIN EVENT ' 1, Bryan Barnes; 2, Pat Akins; 3, Patrick Lanigan; 4, Mark Pemberton; 5, Vicki Macormic; 6, Steve Pierce; 7, Tami Ott; 8, Brian Merriman; 9, John Barger; 10, Milt Carter.
11, Dan King; 12, Tim Towler; 13, Josh Smith; 14, Greg Arnold; 15, Terry Hadley; 16, Rocky Bass; 17, Kevin Gudzan.
FIRST HEAT '
1, 1, Tony Walker; 2, Rick Hunsley; 3, Jim Hill; 4, Darren Provost.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, John David Duffie; Chris Charlton; 3, Mike Jones; 4, Butch Poppa.
THIRD HEAT ' 1, Brian Poppa; 2, Albert Gill; 3, Jim Walker, Jr.; 4, Dan Thomas.
FOURTH HEAT ' 1, Frank Word III; 2, Berry Hunt; 3, Bob Dees; 4, Donn Johnston.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Frank Word; 2, Tony Walker; 3, John David Duffie.
B MAIN ' 1, Dave Satterfield; 2, Ken Irving; 3, Don Gifford; 4, Glenn McElreath; 5, Terry Townsend; 6, Jared Morrill; 7, Chris Ellis; 8, Joe Guider; 9, Joe Guider; 10, Mike Medel; 11, Bill Geyer.
A MAIN ' 1, Frank Word III; 2, Tony Walker; 3, Chris Charleton; 4, Bob Dees; 5, Albert Gill; 6, Butch Poppa; 7, Ken Irving; 8, Rick Hunsley; 9, Darren Provost; 10, Dan Thomas.
11, Buster McElreath; 12, Mike Jones; 13, Don Gifford; 14, Jim Hill; 15, Brian Poppa; 16, Don Johnson; 17, Dave Satterfield; 18, Berry Hunt; 19, Jim Walker, Jr; 20, John Duffie.
FIRST HEAT '
1, Jon DeBenedetti; 2, Skipper Klimcheck; 3, Dave Duste, Jr.; 4, Eric Bray.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, Dan Estremado; 2, Mark Wauge; 3, Jerry Richey; 4,
THIRD HEAT ' 1, Dave Duste, Sr.; 2, Brian Poppa; 3, Scott Weldon; 4, Jon Ireland.
FOURTH HEAT ' 1, Dan Smith; 2, Rich McCoy; 3, Kevin Hewitt; 4, Brad Alfrey.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Jon DeBenedetti; 2, Dane Smithy; 3, Dan Estremado.
B MAIN ' 1, Brett James; 2, Justin Holt; 3, Tracy Bradley; 4, Jay Hinton, Jr.; 5, J.J. Johnson; 6, Dan Wells; 7, Mike Johnson; 8, Ron Possinger.
A MAIN ' 1, Jon DeBenedetti; 2, Rich McCoy; 3, Dan Estremado; 4, Jeremy Richey; 5, Scott Lenz; 6, Ron Possinger; 7, Skipper Klimcheck; 8, Dave Duste, Jr.; 9, Eric Bray; 10, Jay Hinton, Jr.
11, Brett James; 12, Jon Ireland; 13, Brad Alfrey; 14, Tracy Bradley; 15, Brian Poppa; 16, Dave Duste, Sr.; 17, Mark Wauge; 18, Dane Smith; 19, Justin Holt; 20, Scott Weldon; 21, Kevin Hewitt.
FIRST HEAT '
1, T.J. Winningham; 2, Melissa Yates; 3, Garren Linder; 4, Anthony Nunes.
SECOND HEAT ' 1, Dan Menne; 2, Bill Nutter; 3, Randy Rodgers; 4, Scott Finley.
TROPHY DASH ' 1, Dan Menne; 2, T.J. Winningham; 3, Bill Nutter; 4, Melissa Yates.
MAIN EVENT ' 1, Dan Menne; 2, Bill Nutter; 3, Melissa Yates; 4, Garren Linder; 5, Randy Rogers; 6, T.J. Winningham; 7, Anthony Nunes; 8, Scott Finley; 9, Kevin Corey.
Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail